51

Yes. (Photo by James Gathany, Public Health Image Library (PHIL), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) But it could be worse. Most blood-sucking insects urinate while they feed so they can avoid filling up on fluid and get more nutrients out of their meal But some species of mosquito also do what is called preurination — they excrete drops ...


38

Image Source From May Berenbaum, entomologist at the University of Illinois (a character in The X-Files was named after her): Rad Roaches (2001) In a study (Wharton and Wharton 1959), the authors conclusively demonstrated that the American cockroach was, compared with the rest of the known irradiated insect world, a wimp; Periplaneta ...


31

Cockroaches are a potential risk because they act as a vector for a number of diseases, bacteria, and other pathogens: Cockroaches are arthropod transmitters of disease, acting both as mechanical vectors and as reservoirs of pathogenic agents. It has been shown that cockroaches harbor and transmit, both in nature and under experimental conditions, about ...


30

There is no suggestion from the original photographers that spiders place water droplets on their heads. Web pages that re-post these photos don't have any references to support the notion. There are at least two photographers who stage these photographs. Consider Dmitriy Yoav Reinshtein whose gallery includes mantis with water droplet "hat" housefly ...


23

It turns out that there's a nice chap who already investigated this, and found no evidence of the matter: I first did a Google search for PC Professional Magazine. No such magazine. [...] Google turns up a fair number of hits for Lisa Holst; none of them is a columnist for computer magazines. [...] There is a British magazine called PC Pro. I ...


21

Vacuum Cleaner Mortality Can a UK house spider survive being vacuumed up? No.† The Journal of Venomous Animals and Toxins including Tropical Diseases published a study entitled "Evaluation of the efficacy of vacuum cleaners for the integrated control of brown spider Loxosceles intermedia" The results include A total of 60 male, 60 female, 60 young ...


19

Scholarly papers which mention the (geographical) mosquito line include: Climate change and biodiversity T. Lovejoy In the Hawaiian islands, the surviving species of the great Hawaiian Honeycreeper evolutionary radiation survive only above a certain altitude – the ‘mosquito line’ – above which the introduced mosquito that transmits an introduced bird ...


18

I am going to answer my own question here, because I want to preserve the links for my co-worker. He will get a facebook mention and everything. Snopes has this to say: False Love bugs are not the result of a genetic cloning experiment gone wrong, nor were they unwittingly loosed from a research facility charged with studying exotic insects. They ...


14

As people have commented, NASA isn't particularly associated with entomologists, so that seems to be a bit of a red herring and unnecessary appeal to authority. So what if NASA is confused by these bugs? Would it matter if your local mechanic was confused by these bugs? Or a Brain Surgeon? As was also commented, these species have been identified as ...


12

Aspartame-based Sweetener as a Strong Ant Poison: Falsifying an Urban Legend? This scientific article suggests that it is a hoax, at least for aspartane. Ants are not attracted to it, and when forced to eat the mortality is not significantly different from the control group.


12

I was unable to find many studies dealing with vitamin B12 specifically as most studies deal with B vitamins in general. The studies I found indicate that B vitamins are not effective mosquito repellents. A 2002 study in the New England Journal of Medicine comparing the efficiency of different mosquito repellents reported that: No ingested compound, ...


12

Yes, maggots can infest the digestive tract of humans. I was able to find a number of articles describing this condition: Gastrointestinal Myiasis by Larvae of Sarcophaga sp. and Oestrus sp. in Egypt: Report of Cases, and Endoscopical and Morphological Studies - Korean Journal of Parasitology Four cases of gastric or intestinal myiasis are reported. The ...


11

Mosquitoes, like other animals, have ranges and if you draw a line around these ranges you have a "mosquito line". The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have a map of the ranges of the 30-40 species from the genus Anopheles which can carry malaria. A map of all 3500 mosquito species would cover a wider area. It is possible to distinguish ...


11

Yes, kind of. The researcher quoted in that page is Sandeep Salvi, director of the Chest Research Foundation. He was one of the authors of a paper that was presented at the National Pulmonary Congress, 2004, Ahmedabad. (Note: I assume that means it was not peer-reviewed.) Brashier B, Jantikar A, Sewlikar S, Maganji M, Bal T, Salvi SS, Effects of mosquito ...


11

Here is the paper in question: Mark Chase, Maarten Christenusz, Dawn Sanders, Michael Fay, Murderous plants: Victorian Gothic, Darwin and modern insights into vegetable carnivory, Botanical Journal of the Linnean Society Volume 161, Issue 4, pages 329–356, December 2009, DOI: 10.1111/j.1095-8339.2009.01014.x From the abstract, we can see this isn't an ...


11

Q Does switching the lights off help avoiding mosquitoes? In short: "yes", but with so much caveats that ultimately the needed qualifier is "but it's not effective". The caveats are: not all species at all stages of life-cycle. Even within the same species some inconsistent behaviours regarding light seeking or avoidance have been described. Some are ...


10

While Oliver_C's (excellent) answer look at the effects of radiation on cockroaches as an indication of whether or not they would survive a nuclear explosion, the question is about surviving a nuclear holocaust which means factors other than radiation are also an important determinant. The National Geographic documentary Aftermath: Population Zero states ...


9

There is a first-person account from 1976, from Dr. Fred A. Urquhart, part of a small team that found the wintering site of the Monarch butterflies after many years searching. While we stared in wonder, a pine branch three inches thick broke under its burden of languid butterflies and crashed to earth, spilling its living cargo. Source: National ...


9

Looking around on the internet, the claim is actually that the rhinoceros beetle can carry 850 times its own weight, not just 100 times its own weight. The type of rhinoceros beetle in question is the "Hercules beetle" (Dynastes hercules) Adults of some species can lift objects 850 times their weight! That would be equivalent to a human lifting 9 fully ...


9

Ants drastically outweigh us If it's good enough for you, the first sentence of Ted Shultz, "In Search of Ant Ancestors," PNAS, December 19, 2000 vol. 97 no. 26, 14028-14029: Ants are arguably the greatest success story in the history of terrestrial metazoa. On average, ants monopolize 15–20% of the terrestrial animal biomass, and in tropical regions ...


8

No, an earlier list was published by Margot Anne-Stephanie Vigeant as author of the article Things to Stress Over in Cornell Engineer April 1992, volume 56, number 2, pages 24 and 25, (alternative link to full text): My first topic for this issue is worries. I've decided that there are just too many well adjusted, un-paranoid people in this school (NOT), ...


7

There is at least one citation reporting death in PubMed.1 I was not able to load the article, but having gone trough related literature on tarantula bites, it seems that a bite often causes localized necrotic ulcers,2 which, although not usually lethal, could lead to infection, gangrene, and death if left untreated. Some quick digging through newspaper ...


6

Probably not. There doesn't appear to be any evidence of the exploding stomach phenomenon. And most evidence to be found points in the opposite direction. Seeds are a natural food source. This is a study of the diet of one type of Ant in Oklahoma. And seeds are listed as an important dietary item. http://handle.nal.usda.gov/10113/11737 At grassland and ...


6

This may be a bastardization rumor referencing "Chinese Chalk" (or "Miraculous Chalk"), special insecticide-laced chalk which can be used to block the paths of insects. I have heard of overseas restaurants using this chalk to draw lines on the legs of tables, preventing bugs from climbing up the table legs. It is a banned substance in the United States due ...


6

YES it's unhealthy to live with cockroaches. About cockroaches Cockroach disease is something that many people are worried about when they see a cockroach in their home. Cockroaches are known to carry disease because they can live on just about anything, meaning they often live on unsanitary substances. Cockroaches are potential carriers of ...


5

The the factors that determine nest site location (for honey bees these are well understood, less so for wasps, though things like protection, height off ground, etc. clearly play a part) are the primary reason wasp colonies appear in the same sites year after year. On shorter time scales (for example right after removing a nest) navigational cause will ...


5

An article recently published by the BBC debunks this myth: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-29281253 This claim was originally made by Harvard University professor Edward O Wilson, and the German biologist Bert Hoelldobler, in their 1994 book Journey To The Ants. They based their estimate on an earlier one by British entomologist C B Williams, ...


5

Not in virtue of their chemical composition, possibly only if they specifically contain an insect repellent a particular The CDC has a FAQ regarding insect repellents. In particular it states that: CDC recommends the use of products containing active ingredients which have been registered with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for use as ...


5

This link has reviewed several papers related to this technique , while they seem to agree that these traps do attract the mosquitos , but question the effectiveness in terms of the key outcome i.e reduction in mosquito biting rates, apparently what little evidnece exists points that there is no reduction in mosquito bites: Results of studies that are ...


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